Understanding the ACT Scores

My daughter just took the ACT for the first time. She received a composite score of 28. We are not familiar with the ACT scoring, only with the SAT scoring. Some of the colleges she is looking at require the ACT rather than the SAT, however. What is considered a good score on the ACT?


Bruce Hammond

Bruce Hammond is an expert on college prep, applications and cost, and author of Discounts and Deals at the Nation's 360 Best Colleges and... Read more

ACT and the College Board jointly publish a conversion chart. Here are a few points of reference between an ACT score and a combined (verbal plus math) SAT I: 15 = 720; 20 = 950; 25 = 1140; 28 = 1240; 30 = 1320; 36 = 1600. The vast majority of selective colleges take either the SAT I or the ACT. Submission of ACT scores is more prevalent in the interior portions of the country (the SAT is the child of private colleges in the East). A 28 is a fine score on the ACT.

If you are looking at an institution that requires or recommends the ACT in particular, few would have average scores significantly higher than 28. (Even at an Ivy League institution, the average would be no higher than about 31 to 32.)

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